Peter Fischli David Weiss: How to Work Better

For more than three decades, Peter Fischli (b. 1952) and David Weiss (1946–2012) collaborated to create a unique oeuvre that brilliantly exploits humor, banality, and a keen rethinking of the readymade to realign our view of the world. Peter Fischli David Weiss: How to Work Better will offer the most thorough investigation of their joint production to date, revealing the ways they juxtaposed the spectacular and the ordinary in order to celebrate the sheer triviality of everyday life, while creating an open-ended interrogation of temporality, visual culture, and the nature of existence itself. The retrospective will demonstrate the intricate interrelationships among Fischli and Weiss’s seemingly discrete works in sculpture, photography, installation, and video, each of which they used to confront, examine, and lampoon the seriousness of high art. In particular it will establish a sustained dialogue between Fischli and Weiss’s work with the moving image and their sculptural practice, with signature works like Suddenly This Overview (1981–2012), the hundreds of unfired clay sculptures that pillory established truths and myths alike, and The Way Things Go (1987), the inane filmic study of causational activity, appearing as leitmotifs throughout the space. The exhibition will further consider Fischli and Weiss’s extended meditations on the banality of existence, with virtually every body of work within the oeuvre represented by key objects from series including The Sausage Photographs (1979), Questions (1981–2002), Polyurethane Objects (1982–2013), Fever (1983), Grey Sculptures (1983–86), Equilibres (Quiet Afternoon) (1984–87), Visible World (1986–2001/2014), Rubber Sculptures (1986–2005), Airports (1987–2006), and Fotografías (2005), among others. To coincide with the exhibition, Public Art Fund will present How to Work Better (1991), the artists’ text-based monument to labor, as a wall mural in Lower Manhattan.